The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. The immune system responds to infection with both non-specific responses (e.g., inflammation) and targeted specific responses (e.g., T-cell mediated antigenic response). The immune system also keeps a record of every germ (microbe) it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again.
The infectious agents (pathogens) we are exposed to include bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses. We are exposed to pathogens through contact with other people or surfaces where it is able to survive for a period of time. So, when the pathogens do manage to cross the barriers, we have acute infections occur as micro-organisms invade and multiply anywhere in the body, leading to tissue injury through a variety of cellular or toxic mechanisms. Bacteria float around in our blood stream, but viruses get into the cells and hijack the cells machinery (so they can use the energy production to make more infected cells)
Nutrients for Immunity – Where to find them?
Vitamin A found in = Protein foods = Fish liver oil- halibut, cod Liver- Veal, lamb, beef, chicken, Egg yolk, Butter, Fruit and Veg = Carrots Tomatoes Rock Melon Apricots Mangos Pumpkin Peaches Spinach Sweet potato (kumara) Herbs = Basil / Chives / Parsley Chilli
Vitamin C found in = Blackcurrant juice, Guava, Banana, Blackberry, Red Chilli peppers, Red peppers, Parsley, Watercress, Cabbage, Strawberries, Papaya, Rock melon, Citrus fruits, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Green peppers, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Snow peas
Vitamin D found in = Herring – pickled, Sardine - in tomato sauce, Calamari, Cheese, Milk, Egg yolk (also see the post on Vitamin D and sunshine exposure)
Iodine found in = Iodised table salt, Cocoa powder Milk - evaporated / skim, Fish paste Egg yolk, Sushi, Oysters, Scallops
Selenium found in = Brazil nuts, Mushrooms, Eggs – yolk, Flour - rice/rye/wheat/ wholemeal, Red meats, Oat bran, Oats, Wheat bran, Wheat germ (fresh) Mustard powder, Yeast spreads, Cheeses - esp cheddar, Sesame seeds - Tahini Fish - all types
Zinc found in = Oysters, Red meats, Liver - chicken/ veal/ lamb, Nuts: Brazils, almond, cashew, chestnuts, peanuts, pecan, pine, walnuts, Chicken, Duck, Turkey, Cheese - esp hard yellow types & blue vein, Yeast spread, Tomatoes – sundried, Eggs, Tahini, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Garlic, Green peas, Fresh Parsley and Basil, Broad beans, Butter beans, Spinach, Mushrooms
Lifestyle Ideas to Keep Us Safe
Preventive measures – a virus needs us as a host (needs to replicate inside our cells to spread through our body) therefore DON’T let it in? (Social Distancing)
The protein case surrounding the viruses can be denatured by soap (hand washing), ethanol (70 % alcohol wipes) / pH changes / heat & humidity / light
Decrease likelihood of having it on your body and clothes by regular washing
Hot drinks and nasal sprays can help disrupt the virus if it does get in? So, even use nasal spray / mouth = brush teeth or drinking hot drinks when returning home before contact with other household members
Stay away from work when feeling “off” (get tested?)
Stay hydrated – which naturally helps with elimination through the bowel / urine / lungs
Once viruses have ‘invaded’ our cells they have a short replication cycle (1 - 3 hrs) within the cell. So a treatment strategy is to space dosing of individual nutrients every 3-hpurs for reducing viral load (“Pulse Dosing”).
Get a Winter Wellness Strategy – book in to work on the correct combination of foods, diet, lifestyle and nutrients to stay well, and more importantly have a strategy in place to go to if you get sick!
For more information of how to build immunity and stay well book in to the free talk on Saturday the 30th at 10am, through North Sydney Community Centre at https://www.northsydneycentre.com.au/courses/28/CLS110010/food-beverages/supporting-immunity-winter-wellness-online